Readers detect an low-level phonological violation between two parafoveal words

Michael Cutter, Andrea Martin, Patrick Sturt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In two eye-tracking studies we investigated whether readers can detect a violation of the phonological-grammatical convention for the indefinite article an to be followed by a word beginning with a vowel when these two words appear in the parafovea. Across two experiments participants read sentences in which the word an was followed by a parafoveal preview that was either correct (e.g. Icelandic), incorrect and represented a phonological violation (e.g. Mongolian), or incorrect without representing a phonological violation (e.g. Ethiopian), with this parafoveal preview changing to the target word as participants made a saccade into the space preceding an. Our data suggests that participants detected the phonological violation while the target word was still two words to the right of fixation, with participants making more regressions from the previewed word and having longer go-past times on this word when they received a violation preview as opposed to a non-violation preview. We argue that participants were attempting to perform aspects of sentence integration on the basis of low-level orthographic information from the previewed word.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104395
Early online date15 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • parafoveal processing
  • n+2 preview benefit
  • phonological processing
  • contextual fit effects
  • reading


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